I haven’t done a post in a while. Lots of excuse. I’ve been busy. I haven’t really made anything that interesting. Yada, yada, yada. This long weekend I made a bunch of tasty stuff so it’s time to make a post.
I didn’t really have an idea of what I was going to make on Friday. My plan was to go to the Cathedral area and find something at Butcher Boy Meats or Pacific Fresh Fish and then figure out what to make of it later. I stopped at the fishmonger first. There wasn’t anything in the fresh cabinet that turned my crank so I wandered around the freezers and found a couple nice pieces of catfish. I still didn’t have a good idea of how I was going to prepare the catfish so I asked the fishmonger. He listed off a bunch of things to do with it but the one that grabbed my attention was fish tacos. I also picked up six large white shrimp.
I made some saffron rice and started up the BBQ. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to cook the catfish on the BBQ since it looked like it might rain but I had a backup plan that ended up working very well. I cut the catfish into cube and breaded it with corn flour, panko and a mix of cumin, garlic powder and smoked paprika. The shrimp were dusted with a chilli lime rub that Julianne picked up for me when she was down in Las Vegas. The BBQ was going and the rain was coming down a bit so I put the shrimps on the barbie. The rain stared to come down harder and harder so I opted to use a deep frier to cook the catfish.
I was going to heat the tortillas on the BBQ but the rain was coming down like cats and dogs at this point so they went in the microwave. The fish tacos came together with a little fresh tomato and some avocado that had some salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin and lime juice sprinkled over it. I’ve never made fish tacos and I think they turned out okay.
I forgot to take a picture of supper on Saturday!!! I picked up some cold smoked pork chops and a boneless beef side rib from Butcher Boy Meats on Friday. Saturday’s meal was made with the cold smoked pork chops and some left over saffron rice from Friday night. Simple and delicious.
On Sunday morning I was surfing the Interwebs and checking out cool things to see and do on our upcoming honeymoon in Barcelona (and Nice). It inspired me to make a couple of tapas dishes. I was in Italian Start Deli a few months back and found an ingredient that José Andrés likes to use; piqillo peppers. They’re sweet and smokey peppers that aren’t all that hot but taste fantastic. I decided to turn them into cheese stuffed piquillo peppers with some manchego cheese, monterey jack cheese and a little cilantro. I wasn’t sure if the cheese would stay in the peppers when I was cooking them but they managed to stay together.
Patatas Bravas was another dish for our tapas meal. I cut four potatoes into 1 inch cubes and coated them with Three Farmer’s garlic and chilli camelina oil, salt and pepper. They went on to aluminum foil on the top of the BBQ for 45 minute to an hour. The third dish was an experiment that turned out really tasty. I had picked up a boneless beef side rib on Friday and wanted to use it before it had to go in the freezer. All I did with it was season it with Montreal steak spice and garlic powder and throw it in a BBQ safe pan with beef stock, red wine, garlic and shallots. The side rib has a lot of connective tissue and brazing it seemed like the best way to break it down.
The sauce for the patatas bravas was made by softening up some shallots and then adding some cacciatore sausage (couldn’t find any chorizo at the grocery store), garlic, smoked paprika and tomatoes that I cut in half, seeded and grated on a box grater. I added a little red wine at the end to thin it out a bit and balance out the flavours.
We enjoyed out tapas meal with a french baguette and a little red wine. The beef turned out to be tasty and juicy. The patatas bravas was a spicy treat and the stuffed piquillo peppers were amazing. I’ll definitely make those again. I might stuff them with slices of cheese instead of ground cheese but that’s the only change I might make to them.
I found some awesome slider burger buns and angus sirloin slider burger patties at Sobey’s. The slider buns are not always on the shelves so when I see them (even if I’m not going to make burgers right away) I’ll pick some up. The grocery gods smiled on me today and the slider buns were available. Another cool find was a jar of balsamic red onions that I spotted in the deli department.
A good burger is all about balance. A balance of sweet and salty. A balance of just the right amount of toppings so it doesn’t slop all over the place when you eat it. I wanted to use some of the stuff I had left over from the tapas meal so I built the burgers with a grilled piquillo pepper on the bottom, the burger patty, some balsamic red onions, a little leftover cheese from the stuffed peppers, bacon, lettuce and mayo. I’ve made these slider burgers a few times and this was probably the best combination to date. These were awesome.